This Week in PNEC --- February 22, 2018 - March 2, 2018


431 Delaware Ave., Palmerton, PA18071; website

610-826-3113; FAX 610-826-5464


          Bonnie Bates                      Gilberto Garcia Rodriguez   

          Barbara Jennings              Patty Rehrig



ACT Now: Unite to End Racism!
     The National Council of Churches is sponsoring a rally and a call to action on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Multiple denominations, including the United Church of Christ, are sponsoring this event and participation in it.
ACT Now to:
-Awaken to the truth that racism is evil and hurts us all
-Confront racism through truth-telling and action to right the wrong
-Transform the hearts, minds, and behaviors of people and institutions
     ACT Now: Unite to End Racism in the areas of church life and practices, criminal, economic and social justice, civil and human rights, environmental justice, immigration, media, and education.
     Join in the clarion call to heal the soul of the nation as we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Dr. King's assassination. Let's finish the work!
     Where: At sites across Washington, DC, including the Lincoln Memorial and the National Mall
     When: April 3-5, 2018
  • Tuesday evening, April 3: Service of Worship in the Orthodox Tradition
  • Wednesday, April 4: Rally on the National Mall, 7:00am to 4:00pm
  • Thursday, April 5: a Day of Action in the Nation's Capital

We in PNEC are considering renting a van or bus for people who are interested in traveling to Washington DC on Tuesday arriving in time for the worship service and returning back to PNEC on Wednesday evening. Costs will depend on the number of participants attending. Hotels in the area run between $160 and $250 per night. We will evenly split the costs of the van or bus.

If you are interested in joining us, please indicate your interest by e-mailing Barbara Jennings at
     Training given by Master Trooper Marc Allen of the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop M, Bethlehem Barracks. 
 Program being used is called ALICE:  Alert - Lockdown - Inform - Counter - Escape 
     All are welcome to join us for this FREE training.  A pot luck luncheon will be held following the training.  If you would like to bring a covered dish please feel free to do so.  Please RSVP by March 14, by calling the church at 610-837-7426 or you may contact June Arnold at 610-262-5181.  Class will start following the service at 11:15 sharp, and will be held in the sanctuary.  
Congregational Resources re
the school shooting in Parkland, FL
 Many of us continue to be haunted by the recent school shooting in Parkland Florida. Faith United has begun a media campaign and is providing some resources for our congregations. Please share as broadly as you deem
 appropriate.   - Bonnie

"We are excited to announce a social media campaign that will begin this Monday, 2/19, at 9:30AM. We are hopeful that all of you will participate and invite other to join! 
Faith leaders will be using a combination of a personal photos featuring text from their faith tradition's holy text, gun violence statistics, and the hashtag #PrayerAndPolicy to generate a movement of faith leaders speaking out against gun violence and encouraging their communities to pray, yes, but also - take action. 
 Click Here to find a full guide on how to participate,as
 well as an example of both the photo we are asking you take
 and the way your tweets should be formatted.

  Please do not begin tweeting until 9:30AM on Monday, 2/19.
 Please wear the cloth or garments  of each faith's respective
 tradition."    - Stasha M Rhodes, Faith United
Joint Conference
Visioning & Development Team (JCVDT)
     The following information is available on the PNEC website at  or by clicking on the links below:
4.  JCVDT Survey
6.  How to stay connected with JCVDT on FACEBOOK
7.  How to stay connected with JCVDT on Twitter
      I ask for your prayers for our process together that the Spirit can guide us and move us to be the Body of Christ together. Thank you!
Rev. Joanne Marchetto
"I love to tell the story; 'tis pleasant to repeat.
What seems, each time I tell it, more wonderfully sweet."
    PNEC congregations are invited to submit a LOVE STORY FORM to Gary Barraco, PNEC 3GL Ambassador. Gary will submit these to the national church for inclusion in the web site  , but we will also select 5 stories to present at the PNEC Annual Meeting in April. Submissions can start now and will close April 1st.
     If you have questions, feel free to contact Gary at   or (732)241-6635.
"For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ." 1 Corinthians 12:12-27



     The Center for Analytics, Research and Data (CARD) is seeking your direct feedback and assistance on a new denomination-wide survey.
      The purpose of the UCC Planning and Evaluation Survey is to gather information about the various types of planning and evaluation tools, strategies, and processes utilized across settings of the church, as well as the prevalence and frequency of planning and evaluation initiatives. The results will guide CARD's work in assessing needs and creating/curating the most helpful resources for effective planning and evaluation for local churches, middle judicatories, and other settings.
      The survey will take approximately 15-20 minutes to complete. Responses are anonymous, although we do ask for the name of your setting to reduce overlap in response. The results of the survey will be shared with various stakeholders across the United Church of Christ. Please complete the survey by Friday, March 16.
Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback .
Rev. Kristina Lizardy-Hajbi, Ph.D. - Director
Center for Analytics, Research and Data (CARD)
United Church of Christ


An Invitation from Pennsylvania Southeast Conference...Discipleship Workshop


Facilitator:  Rev. Cean James

Times:  10AM to 12 Noon

There are 3 opportunities to attend this workshop:

February 24 @ Armenian Martyrs' Congregational Church, Philadelphia

March 3 @ First UCC, Quakertown

April 14 @ Trinity UCC, Reading

There is NO charge for this workshop but please register by going to the PSEC website (, click on the Events & News tab, click Conference Events and find the workshop date you are interested in.

Reminder....Early Bird Registration for Clergy Convocation ends February 28th!!

Register now for Clergy Convocation
     Join the Penn Northeast & Penn Southeast Conferences 
for a time of collegiality, spiritual renewal and education for authorized ministries and members in discernment.  Rev. Wanda D. Craner will be the Guest Speaker.  "The Spiritual Health of Clergy in Times of Dis-Ease".
  Clergy Convocation Flyer 2018
To register: click here.



Webinar: A Mother and Son Take on Climate Change
Twenty-one youth are suing the federal government over climate change, and one of them is the son of a UCC pastor. Hear a personal perspective on the case in a live webinar featuring Kiran Oommen and his mother the Rev. Melanie Oommen of First Congregational UCC in Eugene, Oregon. A brief legal update on the case will be provided by Coreal Riday-White of Our Children's Trust. The webinar will take place on the evening of February 28th. Shantha Ready Alonso of Creation Justice Ministries will cohost the event with the Rev. Brooks Berndt of the UCC Environmental Justice Program.  Register now to join. The event is part of the Justice for #EachGeneration campaign to have a thousand sermons preached in support of the 21 youth. This campaign was spearheaded by the UCC Council for Climate Justice and has 21 sponsoring organizations from different faiths.

     Phoebe Ministries will honor Bill Hacker and Eric Blew of Arbor Insurance with the Rev. Dr. Grant Harrity Award for Exemplary Service to the Aging at their annual Institute on Aging Benefit on Thursday, March 22 in University Center at DeSales University, 2755 Station Avenue, Center Valley. The cocktail attire event will feature dinner and dancing and begins with cocktails at 6:00 p.m. Music will be provided by The Craig Thatcher Band.  For full details and reservation information click here.
February 25 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Kayli Freeman - Union UCC, Neffs
March 4 - 3PM - ORDINATION - Virginia Schlegel at Jordan UCC, Allentown  (Snow Date:  March 11)

First UCC, Hellertown, has called Rev. Joel Risser as their full-time pastor.  Rev. Risser will start April 23, 2018
Children's Sermon
for Feb: 25 (based on Mark 8:27-38)
Items needed: egg; small box; high intensity lamp; marshmallow peep.  Beforehand, turn lamp on and place so light is right  above floor.  Show kids egg and ask what it is.  Now, what if I tried to keep this egg "safe," by hiding it away in this box?  If I kept this egg "safe"  in this box for weeks and weeks, do  you know what would happen?  It would turn rotten!  But what if I "lost" this egg, by  letting it go (gently open hand by floor so egg rolls underneath where lamp is.)   In about three weeks, the warmth of this lamp would hatch the egg into a new life, a baby chicken!  (Switch peep in  place of egg.)  The egg would become what it was meant to be!  This is what Jesus is talking about in today's Bible reading.   My life is kind of like this egg.  If I try to save my life, by hiding it (hold up box,) my life goes rotten, like an egg that's been in a box for weeks. But if I lose my life, by letting it go into the light of God's Spirit(roll egg again into lamplight,)  my life can be changed into something new, by God's Spirit (hold up peep.)   I can try to put my life into the light of God's Spirit by trying to do live as God wants me to. 
- Rev. David Quinn

24 - 9AM-2PM - PNEC & PSEC Committee on Ministry - Jordan, Allentown

25 - 3PM - INSTALLATION - Rev. Kayli Freeman - Union UCC, Neffs
27 -9:30AM - Ordaining MID Committee - Conf. Office
27 - 9-11:30AM - JCRT - Conference Office
27 - 11AM - Annual Meeting Planning - Conf. Office
28 - 9:30AM - PNEC Faith Formers - City View Diner, Whitehall
1 - 11:30AM-1PM - Southwest AMC (SWAMP) Clergy - St. John's, Coopersburg
2-3 - Joint PNEC Board & PSEC Consistory Retreat - Pocono Manor
4 - 3PM - ORDINATION - Virginia Schlegel - Jordan UCC, Allentown (Snow Date: March 11)
6 - 12Noon - Easton AMC Clergy - New Creation UCC, Easton
8 - 9:30-11AM - Licensed/Commissioned Mentor Group - Conf. Office
12 - 4PM - PNEC Coach Meeting - Conf. Office
14 - Noon to 2PM - PNEC OFFICE CLOSED - Staff Meeting
17 - 9AM to Noon - Educational Day for all MID's and their Advisors - New Creation UCC, Easton

2018 Boundaries Workshops
"Essential Boundaries for Wise Leaders" 
The Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod Essential Boundaries for Wise Leaders training program is designed to enrich both our opportunity and responsibility as leaders for Christ's church.
2018 Workshops will be held: 

   Tuesday, May 22 - Bern Lutheran, Leesport

   Wednesday, May 23 - Faith Evang. Lutheran, Whitehall
   Tuesday, October 23 - St. Paul's Lutheran, Dallas
   Wednesday, October 24 - Christ Hamilton United,
God's Blessings,
Rev. Mary W. Gade, Associate of the Bishop
Northeastern Pennsylvania Synod/ELCA
610-266-5101 ;

Call to the 56th Annual Meeting

of the Penn Northeast Conference

Saturday, April 14, 2018

8AM to 4PM


Union UCC, 5550 Route 873, Neffs


Theme:  Exploration!

Workshop Leader:  Rev. Michael Piazza,

Spiritual Visionary, Author, Social Justice Advocate, Currently serving as Pastor of Middle Collegiate Church, NYC

Guest Preacher:  Rev. Dr. Bonnie Bates,

Conference Minister, PNEC

Download a Registration form here

Also available for download from

Pennsylvania Academy of Ministry
is proud to announce its
Church Leadership class
(formerly Church Administration)
to be offered March 10, 2018 from 9am to 4pm at First UCC in Schuylkill Haven.
While this class is an Advanced Level class for those seeking Licensed Ministry preparation, it is also a wonderful refresher for seasoned Clergy or laity leadership who are looking for new ways to beef up their administrative and leadership skills.  Click for the registration form or you can go to our website to register and pay online.  We hope to see you at this educational opportunity that is provided for all our churches.
Crossroads Spring Courses...
include Mapping the Route (Theology) with the Rev. Dr. Bill Falla on Monday nights beginning Mar 12 and Traditions (Denominations and World Religions) with the Rev. Dr. Walter Wagner on Thursday nights beginning Mar 8.  All courses are held at Moravian Seminary, Bethlehem PA.  Exact dates, course descriptions and registration info is at or contact Jill Peters at
Eastern Regional Youth Event 
     The Eastern Regional Youth Event website has been updated to include the band information and the workshops that will be available and what a variety of workshops there are! PNEC has formed a team to help you with any questions you may have. We have been working on any details for the churches in our conference. Have you received an email from the team? If not, please contact Marge Baltz ( We will continue to give updates as they are available! 
On-line Polity Classes
geared towards Ministerial Authorization
1.        Center for Progressive Renewal: (a link to contact the director of on-line learning is on this page)
2.        New York Conference:  contact Conference Minister Rev. David Gaewski at
4.        Chicago Theological Seminary:
Phoebe Wyncote to Hold Organ Rededication
and Concert 
     Phoebe Wyncote, 208 Fernbrook Avenue, will hold an organ rededication service and concert at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 4, 2018. The event will celebrate the history of the organ and its organists. It will feature The Rev. Dr. Scott Brooks Cope, Director of Pastoral Care for Phoebe Ministries and his son, Taylor Cope, as well as Collin O'Malley, an organist studying at West Chester University, and Bob Masenheimer, conductor of the Phoebe Berks Choraleers.
     The concert is free and open to the public and will be followed by light refreshments and fellowship.
     Space is limited and an RSVP is required to attend.  Seat reservations should be made by Tuesday, February 27 by calling 215-461-2103 or emailing



if you have any youth interested


Penn Northeast Conference

            Presents ....

13th Annual Youth Retreat

all youth in grades 7th - 12th are invited!

May 4 - 6, 2018

Check-in Friday 6:30-7:00......Pick-up Sunday Noon

Spruce Lake, 5389 Route 447, Canadensis


(includes meals Saturday & Sunday breakfast)


We must have all registrations and $50 non-refundable deposit per person.


Disaster Ministries Update
Just a little reminder that all churches are to drop off Church World Service kits (clean-up buckets, hygiene kits, and school kits) to the PNEC office in Palmerton.  Having everything dropped off at the Conference office is more convenient for the people who will be delivering to Maryland. 


March 2 - The Opiod Crisis as a Public Health Issue

Dr. Chrysan Cronin, Director, Public Health Program


April 6 - To BE Announced - watch for further details at


May 11 - Getting the "Other" Right: the Challenges of Doing History

Professor Robert Weiner, Jones Professor of History, Lafayette College

*Please Note - Location is Seegers Union 108-110


19th Global Youth Justice Training
World's Most Replicated Juvenile Justice Program
Historic Provincetown in Cape Cod, USA
Tuesday to Thursday -- June 12-14, 2018

Grief and the Quest for Meaning
Friday, February 23, 2018 * 9:00am-4:30pm
Politics of Religion-  Native Spirituality & Christian Practice
Friday, March 9, 2018 * 9:00am-Noon
For details and how to register click URL below
Polity Curriculum for Local Churches

     MESA recently released a new UCC Polity Curriculum designed for local congregations: new member classes, confirmation classes, COM orientations, and congregations considering joining the UCC. The materials can be found online at:
Pennsylvania lay leader creates traveling road show around UCC's 3 Great Loves...A lay leader of the UCC Penn Northeast Conference is on a spiritual journey, spending his Sundays with several different congregations, and spreading the word about the 3 Great Loves (3GL) initiativeClick to see full article

3 Great Loves Wants to Come to
Your Congregation
The 3 Great Loves is the denomination's opportunity to express how our Love of Neighbor, Love of Children, and Love of Creation work together to address the inequities in our current world. To move this initiative forward in the Penn Northeast Conference, we have recruited Gary Barraco from Forks UCC to be our '3 Great Loves Ambassador'. Gary has been working with the National representative and Regional Ambassador to prepare our Conference to learn more about the 3 Great Loves program. Gary and others want to come to your church and deliver the Sunday morning message or present to a large group. He has put together a full liturgy for a worship serve, including suggested hymns, so we can come in with a pre-packaged service. To learn more, contact Gary at
And Still We Rise
Transforming U.S. Policy Toward a Just Middle East Washington, D.C. | June 17 - 19, 2018
The Summit will highlight women peacemakers from the Middle East. Men and women are invited to hear from speakers who are all women! For full article, please click here

 Christian Pilgrims Tour

September 20-28, 2018

England, Netherlands & Boston

for a flyer with full details, please click here



For the complete list of churches who are searching for organists, choir directors sextons, pianist, etc., etc., and also churches who are giving away items, please CLICK HERE

What's Happening in Our Churches
(PLEASE NOTE:  We love advertising the "happenings" in our churches, however the list is getting too long for this publication.)
"What's Happening in Our Churches"